Better Living Through Mail Order: Pages from Sears Catalogs of Years Past
To know how Americans live, you must know how Americans shop. And few things served as a better chronicle of good old American consumerism than the Sears catalog.
First published in the late 19th century, the Sears catalog was the Amazon of its day. Since most Americans still lived in rural areas, shopping in the big city wasn’t practical, and Sears offered people a wonderful opportunity to buy anything they needed with little hassle.
Over time the seasonal catalogs grew to 1,000-plus page behemoths, and showcased everything from clothing to toys to all manner of household goods. If you couldn’t find it in the Sears catalog, you probably didn’t need it.
In this section of the site you’ll find pages ripped (OK, scanned) from seasonal Sears catalogs (the Big Book) as well as the famous Christmas Wish Book catalogs. Enjoy!